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Poached Red Trout on Watercress with Blood Orange Dressing

Poached Red Trout on Watercress with Blood Orange Dressing
Blood oranges can be used just like other oranges, even though their flavor is sweeter than that of navels or Valencias, the two types most commonly stocked in markets. Use them for juice, for sorbets, in salads and for sauces, where their unusual color can be shown off. When making a salad, remember that the juice stains all that it touches a brilliant red. To keep colors separate, add the blood oranges at the last minute, just before serving.

If blood oranges are not available, substitute navel oranges and use raspberry vinegar instead of lemon juice for the salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 lemon slices, plus 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 lb. skinless red trout or other trout fillets
  • Juice of 3 blood oranges (about 3/4 cup), plus
      1 whole blood orange
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced shallot
  • 4 cups watercress sprigs (about 2 bunches),
      tough stems removed

Directions:

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, combine the wine, water, lemon slices, tarragon and salt. Bring to just below a boil (the water should be barely rippling). Add the trout fillets and poach, keeping the liquid at just below a simmer, until the fillets are just opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spatula or spoon, transfer the fillets to a plate and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange and lemon juices and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove from the heat and let cool. Stir in the olive oil and shallot.

Cut a slice off the top and bottom of the blood orange, then stand it upright. Following the contour of the fruit, slice off the peel and white pith in thick strips. Slice the orange crosswise and remove any seeds. Set aside.

Put the watercress sprigs in a bowl and pour all but 2 Tbs. of the blood orange dressing over them. Gently mix to coat evenly. Divide the watercress evenly among individual bowls or plates.

Break each trout fillet into several pieces and arrange the pieces on top of the watercress. Drizzle each with a little of the reserved dressing. Garnish each salad with 1 or 2 slices of blood orange and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Salad, by Georgeanne Brennan (Simon & Schuster, 2001).